Setting Google alerts can help parents

I want to thank Bill Latchford at Protect Children Online (.org) for tweeting a safety tip that parents will appreciate. He suggests that setting a Google alert can help parents monitor kid's behavior. After you set the alert, a message and link is be sent to your inbox every time Google picks up the name.

This was something that I did with my kids years ago. I deleted the link after they became adults. The alerts that I received were usually when their name was in the paper or when the high school posted a newsletter online. Occasionally, Google alerts would come in for people who had the same (or very similar) names to my children.

I didn't think of the alerts as being a safety measure. For me, it was a way of helping the kids find things for their scrapbook. As Bill points out, Google alerts can serve another purpose. By letting parents know when their child's name is used, parents are able to better monitor their kids behavior.

Setting an alert is as easy as going to www.google.com/alerts and following the directions. It only takes a few minutes. If it helps protect children, then it's a few minutes well spent.


The joys of being a credit union member

A recent marketing event reminded me of the joys of being a credit union member. I fully left my bank a few years ago and haven't looked back. My membership in the Holston Methodist Federal Credit Union began right after my husband became a pastor. It's one of the good things about serving in the Holston Conference.

He and I value the membership enough to open accounts for our daughters years ago. We felt that having their own accounts would help them better understand how to handle money. I think it has been one of our better parenting decisions.

The event was about the new products that they offer.


Goodbye Yahoo Contributor Network; Hello, new world of internet writing

The Yahoo Contributor days are officially over. Profile pages now redirect to the main Yahoo search page as does the main url for Voices. Work created by what the company said was 600,000 writers has now been removed. What was there only a little while ago is now gone.

They warned us that the end of the Yahoo Contributor Network was coming. We had some time to get ready. Still, the deletion comes across like a kick in the gut. The loss is tangible.

I'm not talking about the loss of content from the internet airwaves but the loss of a home. For many writers, the Yahoo Contributor Network was a starter home in the world of content sites.

The company, and it's predecessor known as Associated Content, launched careers and spring boarded others. Without the platform some people might never have taken their first tentative steps into the writing world.

Now, in the click of a button, all of that is gone.

I heard it said once that endings are beginnings turned inside out. Even as we mourn the loss of the Yahoo Contributor Network, writers are already hard at work. New careers will emerge from the ashes. Writers are becoming editors. Bloggers are intensifying their efforts. Most (if not all) will sharpen our quills and fine tune our writing focus.

Here's to a new world of online writing! Keep following this and my other blog. The best, as they say, is yet to come.